I'm a mess. Admittedly, I'm less of a mess today than I was last week. Still....the operative word is "mess".
In between storms in Dallas last week there was a window of opportunity to leave on Tuesday. The smart money indicated that adding a couple hundred miles to the trip by taking the southernmost route - along I10 - was most prudent given all the other junk that seemed to be tracking along I20 through Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina.
What I wasn't ready for was the tidal wave of grief at having to leave one of my pups behind. I'm tearing up even as I type this.
Cody was the energy in family. He was always happy, always excited. He was very much a momma's boy and kept me in his sight pretty much at all times. He's the one who hopped onto the bed and slept with me, and who was the most loving. But, like many things, you don't know what you've got until it's gone.
I can rationalize why I've done what I've done forever. The fact that I feel guilty about leaving them alone in an apartment all day, that I have to take them to a dog sitter most weekends, and that I've only got a few hours to spend with them each evening - that they deserve more. They deserve someone who will be around, a backyard, and more out of life than simply waiting for most of it.
When it came time to leave I cried like a baby. It was the first time my mom has seen me cry in almost 50 years. It wasn't little crying, either, it was "I can't talk because it's so difficult" tears. And then, being stuck in that truck for the 1,300 mile drive back with nothing but guilt, sadness, grief...not good. The dynamic of the family has changed, and I don't know if it's in a good way or not.
I've left the dogs in the care of others before. My son watched Cody for several months a few years ago. My sister watched him for 6 months a couple of years ago, as well. I didn't feel anything resembling this before. But my mom said that if she was going to take Cody it needed to be a permanent thing, that she didn't want to get emotionally attached and then have him leave, and I agreed.
Until recently I could honestly say that I have very few regrets in life. I've actively tried to ensure that. And although it's still too painful for me and too early to assess clearly this might be one of them.
I've got a lot of emotional energy in me....and not all of it is positive. Most of the time I do a good job keeping it all at bay. But, when there's a crack in the containment system, it all comes pouring out. That's what happened last week. Years of sadness, frustration, anger, resentment...it's all in there and I suppose it needed release. Well, last week it got it.
Last night I came full circle. I pulled back into the hotel where we stayed just before leaving for Dallas a couple of weeks ago. But there is one fewer of us, and it's not the same. I miss my little man.
On the more practical side - the trip was ok but was a huge huge huge energy drain. Between the emotion spent over this trauma, the challenge of a long trip on the road, and the general pull of work and other life demands I very much needed the weekend.
I'll be in Charlotte for the first half of the week before heading back home for the tail end, and the weekend. I could have used another couple of days to recover. Ready or not, though, Monday is here.